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The Boston Winter Activity Guide

And some takeout too.

Written by
Updated January 14th, 2021

It’s almost been a year since the pandemic began. For us, that has meant starting home improvement projects that will never be completed, drinking a lot of good cocktails, and streaming every possible variety of feel-good British competition where there are absolutely no prizes at stake. Sure, it’s been fun, but at this point, we’d like to get the f*ck out of the house. If you’re feeling the same way, here’s a list of winter activity ideas for you (most of which are less than a 30-minute drive away), each paired with a takeout spot that’s close by. Ready, set, escape!

The Activities

Watch A Light Show At The Hatch

From January 22nd - February 21st, this Back Bay outdoor concert venue will host an art exhibit titled Hatched: Breaking Through The Silence from 5-9pm. The light and sound show lasts 15 minutes (with restarts every 20 minutes) and purports to be a “public space for joy and optimism this New Year.” That’s a lot to put on the shoulders of some LEDs, and we think a hot bowl of ramen from Red White Japanese would really help in conjuring those positive emotions. We also think slurping is a great way to break up those quiet moments.

Have An Outdoor Picnic On The Esplanade

Yes, the Hatch is on the Esplanade, but we’d like to argue that looking at art is a distinctly different activity to looking at Cambridge and Boston. And since we’re experiencing some warmer, sunny weather these days, there are even fewer reasons to not watch the Charles River flow by the two cities. It’s a surprisingly meditative experience, especially with a bagel sandwich and pastry spread from Revival Cafe + Kitchen. A post-meal walk is an ideal way to end a half-day here, and hopefully, you’ll leave thinking that, sometimes, places without any urban planning can actually be beautiful.

Try curling at Snowport

If you find the idea of sweeping and cleaning particularly painful, maybe a few slide stones will convince you to pick up a broom. The Seaport has a couple of free curling lanes open for walk-in play. Hours vary daily, and masks must be worn at all times. Afterward, grab some fried clams and fish and chips from Row 34, and give your significant other some space to talk about how your relationship could be improved if chores were split evenly.

Get some wine education with Urban Grape

At the end of this pandemic, your cork collection jar could be filled with a lot of bark from Charles Shaw. That’s totally acceptable in our eyes, but on the off-chance that you’d like to know about other types of wine, The Urban Grape hosts weekly virtual wine classes. They’re free, but if you’d like to purchase the exact bottles for tasting purposes, you can easily do so for pickup or delivery. If you purchase a mixed case of wine, you’ll even get 15% off. It’s taken a while, but we finally have some Zoom meetings that we look forward to, complete with pizza from Picco.

Channel your inner Thoreau at Walden Pond

Thoreau once said he would rather sit on a pumpkin than a velvet cushion (or something along those lines), and after months on the couch, we’re almost at the point of agreement. While we’re not exactly transcendentalists, it’s surprising how good a Twitterless walk around a body of water can feel. Pair the walk with a haddock sandwich from Twin Seafood and it’ll basically be a New England spa day.

Look out over the city at Middlesex Fells

Perhaps you’re the type of person who only feels calm with strenuous exercise. You’re getting bored of doing 200 burpees a day, and that decrepit space which also happens to be a very expensive gym won’t be opening any time soon. We’d like to suggest the eight-mile Skyline Trail Loop at Middlesex Fells, which has some great views of the city. Go counterclockwise to make it a tougher route, and run the whole thing if you’re really intense. The Neighborhood Kitchen is a good spot to refuel unless you’re doing the whole paleo thing. Of course you are.

Enjoy contemporary art at Mass MoCA

Maybe you’re looking to get as far away from your roommates as possible without having to leave the state. Mass MoCA, one of our favorite museums, is still open and selling advanced tickets for specific times of day. Seeing contemporary art in a repurposed 19th-century mill is cool, but we imagine it’s almost blissful after listening to Dave blast Eminem’s latest album on repeat for a month. While you’re in the Berkshires, a visit to Mezze - one of the best restaurants out there - is a must.

Have a meal by a fire pit

Impressively, there are still over 100+ heated patios around Boston right now. But as far as we know, Bow Market and Alcove are the only places where you can have some dinner and cocktails right by a fire pit. During any other winter, sitting wouldn’t exactly count as an activity, but life is different now.

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